Helping America's most vulnerable®

Kelly's Story

Are you happy? That’s what Kelly wants to find out soon after you meet her. Kelly lives at Armour House, one of our eight residential care homes in Wisconsin. She has an intellectual disability, meaning that she thinks like a two year old, in a 38 year old body. 

While Kelly’s natural playfulness usually prevailed during her four-year struggle with kidney issues, it was dampened late last year by a regimen of lifesaving dialysis and then the agonizing wait for a transplant. To everyone’s credit, there was no discrimination against Kelly as she inched her way up the transplant list.

Word came in the fall of 2014 that Kelly was next. After a couple of false starts and mad dashes between Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, a perfect match donor was identified and UW medical staff went to work.

Kelly’s new kidney is functioning normally and she’s back home at Armour House. “The VOA personal care workers are terrific,” says Kelly’s mother Anne. “And we are especially grateful to Alissa Jost, for her management of Kelly’s care.”

Learn more about Volunteers of America of Minnesota and Wisconsin.